Nawaz Sharif is coming back next month: PM Shehbaz

Says name of caretaker PM will be finalised today n Coalition govt successfully addressed multiple challenges n Calls Imran’s narrative on US cipher ‘a pack of lies’ n If contents of cipher published in international journal are true then it is a very big crime n If cipher was lost by Imran then how it appeared in press now, asks PM.


ISLAMABAD/LAHORE  -  Prime Minister Shehbaz Shar­if Thursday said Pakistan Mus­lim League-Nawaz Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would come back to Pakistan next month to face his cases in the courts.

The prime minister, in an in­terview with a private news channel, said after the formation of the caretaker government he would visit London to consult Nawaz Sharif on his plan for re­turn. Nawaz Sharif will lead the election campaign of his party and will be the next prime min­ister for the fourth time if the PML-N won the next election, he added. “Nawaz Sharif is coming back to Pakistan next month and will face the law and lead the election campaign,” he added. 

The prime minister said last night the president signed the ad­vice to dissolve the National As­sembly and he had talked with the coalition partners about the caretaker prime minister and the decision in that regard would be made in the next three days.

"Tomorrow we will hopeful­ly finalise a name for the post of caretaker prime minister," he said, adding he would further consult the matter with the al­lied parties and Nawaz Sharif.

He said as he had been saying all along he would hand over the government to the caretaker set-up and the Election Commission would decide about the date for new elections. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) had al­ready approved the new digital census and the election would be held according to it, he added.

"We have followed the Consti­tution and now the institutions have the responsibility to hold the elections," he remarked, adding he desired that elections should be held as soon as possible.

Shehbaz pointed out that he led the shortest government of 16 months formed by the coali­tion parties of various ideologies and thinking.

"We proved to the people that the coalition parties were united for sake of the country. We per­formed our responsibilities in the best interests of the state." He said after his taking charge of of­fice the country faced devastating floods and the government within its limited resources pro­vided timely relief to the people, took steps for their rehabilita­tion and transparently distrib­uted the aid that came from for­eign countries. The biggest contribution of his government, he said, was that Pakistan was saved from default and for that his government went through a difficult phase of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF managing director at one point in a meet­ing with him in Paris said that no time was left for revival of the programme but later an agree­ment was reached for loan of three billion dollars, he recalled. The PM said in the four years of the previous government, rela­tions with friendly and broth­erly countries were damaged and long time friends of Paki­stan were alienated. He said the countries like Saudi Arabia un­conditionally came to the rescue of Pakistan on numerous diffi­cult occasions in the past, pro­vided monetary assistance to it and gave oil on deferred pay­ment for three years but despite all that the previous govern­ment could not maintain better ties with the brotherly country. 


To a question, the prime min­ister said he chaired two meet­ings of National Security Com­mittee and Pakistan’s then former ambassador to the Unit­ed States and present Foreign Secretary Dr Asad Majeed told there that he sent the report of his conversation with the US State Department official Don­ald Lu in a cipher.

The ambassador told the meeting that it was never men­tioned in the cipher that the United States was conspiring against the then government in Pakistan, he narrated.

The prime minister said Im­ran Niazi gave contradictory statements on the cipher issue and on various occasions held different personalities and the US responsible for the remov­al of his government and then withdrew his accusations.

At one point Imran claimed that as he was getting close to China and Russia, therefore, his government was removed, Shehbaz said, while stressing, “It was my government that improved relations with Chi­na and Russia.” Then Imran Ni­azi said he lost the cipher, he said adding as PM Imran Nia­zi could have read the cipher but he should not have taken it with him as it was confidential. “If the cipher was lost by Imran Niazi then how it got published now?” he wondered. The law enforcement agencies were in­vestigating the matter of cipher, he added. Talking about for­eign relations, he said his gov­ernment revived badly dam­aged relations with the United States and he himself met with various delegations from the US and Foreign Minister Bilaw­al met the Secretary of State and US Congressmen on numerous occasion in a bid to restore ties.

“I told the American ambassa­dor in Pakistan that we wanted better relations with the Unit­ed States.” He said the percep­tion that his government was “imported” was fabricated, add­ing his government restored ties and received support from different friendly and broth­erly countries. “For instance if we were imported government, then we should have received open support from the IMF,” he observed. He said that the Unit­ed States did not oppose the IMF programme for Pakistan.

‘Special Investment Facilita­tion Council’

He said Pakistan as a develop­ing country was faced with nu­merous challenges and should do its best to promote good ties with all countries. To anoth­er question, he said the Special Investment Facilitation Coun­cil (SIFC) would focus on agri­culture, information technology, mineral development and water resources. He said according to the ground realities of Pakistan, it had 33 years of martial law which ultimately failed and also democratic governments which were not that strong. So every­body should work together now to bring prosperity in the lives of the people, he said while giv­ing reasons for forming the SIFC in which army would have a role for attracting investment.

The prime minister said Paki­stan had fertile land, and abun­dant water and mineral resourc­es but it could not get benefit from them and it even wasted billions of dollars on fighting cases in international courts on issues of mining. Now a law had been made and the federal and provincial governments and army would collaborate on exe­cution of the development proj­ects undertaken under the SIFC, he elaborated. He was of the view that youth could bring rev­olution in Pakistan through use of information technology.

He reminded that Imran Nia­zi was following a hybrid mod­el of governance and General (R) Qamar Bajwa gave unprec­edented support to Imran Nia­zi but he used this support for putting members of opposition in jails and for abusing and ma­ligning them. Shehbaz said, “I am not happy that Imran Nia­zi is in jail,” adding, “Although, when we were sent to jail, Im­ran Niazi made statements that he put his political opponents in jail, then he personally victim­ized his opponents and asked for their mistreatment in jail by denying them facilities of bed, home food and medicine.” “I was forced to sleep on floor and then I was made to travel in armoured personnel carriers despite the problem of my backbone.”


Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that Im­ran Khan Niazi had ruined rela­tions with the friendly coun­tries and isolated Pakistan in the world. The prime minister, in an interview with ‘WeNews’, said that an effort was made to create a bloc and isolate Saudi Arabia through that bloc.

“What a sad incident and what a fallen thought that a friend who helps you like a broth­er and family without any con­dition or greed and we be­come ungrateful and forgetful of its kindness,” he added. The prime minister said that the two brotherly countries could never have imagined such a bad situ­ation that happened during Im­ran Niazi’s tenure. 

Terming the Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf chief’s narrative that his (Shehbaz’s) govern­ment was brought in power un­der an American conspiracy, a pack of lies, the prime minister said if the contents of the cipher, which was printed (in the inter­national newspaper), were true, then it was a very big crime.

With regard to the news about the cipher published in the in­ternational journal ‘The Inter­cept’, he said that two meetings of the National Security Council regarding the cipher were held under his chairmanship. In a meeting, the then Pakistani am­bassador and current Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed clearly stated that there was no talk of conspiracy in his meeting with the United States official Donald Lu. The then Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa and other ser­vices chiefs also confirmed that there was no conspiracy hatched against Pakistan, he added.

“Imran Niazi’s narrative was that America tried to topple his government because he was more attracted to China and Russia, so tell me that if our gov­ernment was formed through the American conspiracy, would we get oil from Russia? Would our relations with China be re­stored which were destroyed by Imran Niazi? So this one proof is enough,” he added. Regarding the delay in finalising the name of caretaker prime minister, She­hbaz Sharif said there was a mis­take in understanding that the caretaker prime minister’s de­cision was to be taken tomor­row. “It is not the case because there cannot be a consultation between the prime minister and the opposition leader before the National Assembly is dissolved.” The prime minister said that the phase of dissolving the Assembly was completed last night, and af­ter that he had the first meet­ing scheduled with the opposi­tion leader today in which the caretaker prime minister’s name would be discussed. He said that right now he could not reveal the name of the caretaker prime minister, but assured that the matter would be revealed soon.


Regarding Pakistan’s rela­tions with India, the prime minister said that ties with the neighbouring country could not be restored without find­ing a just solution of the Kash­mir issue because the Kashmiris had made great sacrifices to get their rights and thousands of them have died in 75 years. 

The hearts of Kashmiri moth­ers and daughters were torn, children and the elderly were martyred and the valley of Kash­mir turned red with their blood, he added. The prime minister made it clear that without re­solving the issue of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, re­lations with India could not be normalized in any way. Govt successfully addressed multi­ple challenges: PM Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz Sharif says his gov­ernment successfully addressed multiple challenges particularly in the field of economy and for­eign policy during a short span of time besides launching sever­al public welfare projects. 

Giving a round-up of his six­teen-month rule in a tweet to­day, he said the coalition gov­ernment successfully averted the looming threat of econom­ic default. The Prime Minister noted with satisfaction that Pa­kistan revived its trust with the brotherly countries including China, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE and emerged as a responsible member of interna­tional community. He said CPEC has not only been put back on track but its second phase has also started. Shehbaz Sharif said the government successfully overcame the challenge of reha­bilitation of flood affected areas and Pakistan’s leading role in ef­forts to tackle climate change led to the establishment of in­ternational Loss and Damage Fund. He said the coalition gov­ernment has laid strong founda­tions for development of agri­culture, IT, minerals, energy and other selected sectors through the establishment of Special In­vestment Facilitation Council.

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